Episode 154: Authentic Persuasion – Jason Cutter

Predictable Prospecting
Episode 154: Authentic Persuasion - Jason Cutter
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What is authentic persuasion? How do you build a rapport with a prospect? What does empathy have to do with making a sale? These are some of the questions that today’s guest will answer. Jason Cutter is the founder and CEO of Cutter Consulting Group and the author of the book Selling With Authentic Persuasion: Transform from Order Taker to Quota Breaker. Listen in to today’s episode to hear Jason talk about his book, the persuasion framework, and how to blend urgency, empathy, and rapport when talking to a prospect. 

Episode Highlights:

  • How Jason came up with the title of his book
  • Where to start becoming more authentic and persuasive
  • How you add value in sales
  • Where Jason was before he got into sales
  • The sales success fundamentals that every sales conversation has to have
  • The persuasion framework
  • Methods for building rapport
  • Active listening
  • Blending urgency with rapport and empathy
  • Finding out why the person wants to buy
  • How intangibles factor into the sale
  • What authenticity and persuasion have to do with the referral process
  • Where listeners can learn more about Jason

Resources:

Jason Cutter

Cutter Consulting Group

Selling With Authentic Persuasion: Transform from Order Taker to Quota Breaker

Transcript

Marylou: Hey, everybody, it’s Marylou Tyler. This week’s guest is Jason Cutter. He’s the founder and CEO of Cutter Consulting Group. We’ll talk about the variety of services he offers, which you guys will want to check out for sure.

What got me excited about this interview today was the title of his new book, which came out in August of 2020. It’s called Selling With Authentic Persuasion: Transform from Order Taker to Quota Breaker. That’s a tongue twister, Jason. I really love that term, authentic persuasion. First of all, welcome to the podcast. Secondly, can you tell me how you came up with that title? I love that title.

Jason: First, thank you for having me. It’s funny saying that is a tongue twister. I have said it enough times now, but in the beginning, I would get it backward—the order taker to quota breaker part. It took me a little while. 

Where did that come from? I was writing the book. Before it came out without a title, without really a specific goal in mind other than to get out of my head 17 years’ worth of experience that I felt could help people who went down a similar path as me where you didn’t plan on being a salesperson. You kind of stumbled into sales or defaulted in the sales. Then, here you are. Probably undertrained, under-coached, undermanaged, underlead, trying to figure it out, failing, and doing something else. 

That’s when I started writing the book. I had it written and it was edited. I thought, man, I don’t even have a title for this thing. I actually wrote it once, threw it away, wrote it a second time from scratch, and then still didn’t have a title. 

I had a mentor who came up with Transform from Order Taker to Quota Breaker and that was great, but it didn’t really help with the book. Then, one day, I was just like, I need a title. I don’t care. I was sitting on the floor at 6:30 AM in the morning. I started writing phrases and it jumped out. Five minutes later, I was buying domains on my phone on GoDaddy, then coming up with it, and did just like lightning speed from there.

Marylou: That’s wonderful. I love that term. As we were talking before we got officially started, I love the word authentic because it does represent where we are today and where we’ve been all the time—we’ve been selling. A good focus now, especially on authenticity. 

We have tools that are taking that human side. I have a colleague that is always talking about the fact that we’re losing the human touch because we have so many tools that allow us to have conversations—while we’re sleeping—with people. That term is really important to me. The two combined—authentic persuasion—because persuasion for me, especially top of the funnel, is where it’s all at.

We’ve all studied Cialdini, the principles of persuasion, and trying to encapsulate that into a sales conversation that resonates, that advances people into the pipeline. It has been almost like a lifelong study for me.

The fact that you put the two together, we just have to get your book. Walk us through the book. In the context of Authentic Persuasion, where do we start with you on this journey to become a better salesperson and a more authentic yet persuasive sales executive? How does it start?

Jason: When I wrote the book, I structured a certain way. And then when I realized Authentic Persuasion was the […] for it, I broke the book up into three sections. Section one is authenticity, section two is persuasion, section three is the intangibles. 

Just to clarify, I talked to a lot of people about this and some people say, I don’t like persuasion. They think persuasion is the same as manipulation, which it’s all about the intent. Some people are convinced. There are different words people can use. The concept is that the authentic piece is you, coming from a place that’s genuine and real for you, with the goal of wanting to help somebody else and be of service. Also—this is really where it’s important—it is understanding your fears, your limitations in your head, your strengths, and also why you want to be successful in sales. 

What would you put on the vision board? Why do you want it? Of course, everyone says, I just want to make more money. Why? Why do you want that money? The money’s just a vehicle for something. What is it that you want the money for? Maybe it’s not about the money, it’s because you want to help other people or there’s a different thing inside of you more intrinsically. The big thing is, if you’re not authentically, intrinsically motivated, then you’re going to need the carrot or the stick all the time. The sales are rough. 

When that 50th person says no for the day, are you going to pick up the phone and make the 51st call because the boss is standing over your shoulder threatening you or bribing you to close the deal? Or are you just going to do it because that’s what you want to do and for your own reason? That’s part of it. 

The persuasion piece is where it gets into a little more of the strategies. A lot of people want to go straight into strategies. Okay, tell me what I should say? How do I close deals? What do I do? That doesn’t matter until you have the authenticity piece set because maybe you’re parroting what somebody does. Grant Cardone or Gary Vee says this, so I’m going to try that. Unless it’s you and you know why you’re doing it, it doesn’t matter.

Marylou: Right. I definitely can see that even in my work, most people do know that I’m a sales process expert. There’s no word skill in the term sales process, but it does amplify and accentuate when we have skills—sales skills issue problems and also the mindset. The mindset, I think, is where you’re hitting with the authenticity piece.

I just had a conversation with a young sales executive the other day who is wanting to switch careers in sales because she was having difficulty waking up in the morning, getting excited about what she was selling. She didn’t believe in her heart of hearts that she was adding value.

Having that realization and coming to that was a very brave thing. She decided I’m going to switch careers and go into, in this case, life sciences because the firm that she decided to interview with is building applications to save lives. When you can get your arms around something that big—that’s bigger than you—then you wake up every morning and your question to yourself is, how can I add more value today? With whom can I have a conversation to add value? 

Is that what being authentic—that whole process is going through that mindset change of you’re here to serve, you’re here to help people. What you sell is valuable to the folks that you’re targeting in your target audience.

Jason: Yes. Like the person you were talking about, if you don’t see the value in it, you don’t believe in it, or you don’t see how that’s something you want to do, then do something else. Part of life is figuring out what you don’t want to do, just as much as figuring out what you do want to do. If you’re going to be selling something, helping somebody, and persuading them to take action, do you believe in what you’re helping them do? 

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of people who get into sales. They usually are the ones that give sales the bad name and the bad connotation in the world. Why the public does not like salespeople or is guarded and worried about salespeople versus other professions. It’s because of salespeople who are just motivated by their own needs and making money. They don’t necessarily care what they’re selling. They don’t care what happens to their prospect. That’s not what matters at the end of the day. 

For me, it’s about people who want to do it and come from a place where they’re not sure how they can do it. That’s where we get into the persuasion piece, which is the framework for moving somebody forward. The big part of that—I’m sure you do this on your side. This comes down to persuasion and all those previous experts. But seeing it as your duty and responsibility such that I know I’m selling something of value. Where if I have the right person in front of me and they have problem X, I have solution X and they don’t buy, I’ve actually failed them.

Marylou: Right. We’re moving from authenticity in that section, the authenticity section is admitting or analyzing what fears we may have, what reservations, where we’re not necessarily confident, and focus on why we’re in this profession.

I just got a chuckle when you said that, like most people, you fell into selling. That is so true. I teach at university every once in a while here in Iowa and there are still no courses. Dallas, Texas has a nice school now, but there are no real, focused, concentrated courses on selling skills, selling mindset, process. We are kind of winging it when we go into a role in the hopes that people, the leadership there, will have an onboarding or ramping plan for us. Where were you before that guy that got you into sales?

Jason: Well, let’s see. My bachelor’s degree is in Marine Biology. I tagged sharks for years in Santa Cruz and Monterey Bay, which I know is where you’re from. I did that. I tell the story all the time because it’s an indication of where I’ve come to, why I think I can help people, and why I wrote the book. I grew up in an anti-sales household. 

My parents, great loving parents. My mom was a banker before she retired. My dad was an engineer and they moved their way up. My mom, her first job was at a furniture store. She used to sit in the back office and hear what the salespeople would say and do to customers. She vowed to never let that happen to our family. She was basically anti-salespeople. She just had to guard up. She hated them. She saw what they did—the people from the banking fraud side, and she would have it out for them. 

I grew up in that way, such that I would rather go tag sharks than deal with people. I literally didn’t want to get a job dealing with people. I kept doing it, but I didn’t want to. One thing led to another. That direction didn’t go in my life.

I ended up getting a job at Microsoft, doing tech support for a couple of years back when that was still done in the US. Then, we all lost our jobs to offshore outsourcing. That’s when a family friend said, hey, I got a guy. He’s growing a mortgage company. You could do that. It’s not that hard. It’s the 2002 housing market boom. I don’t consider that sales. I still screwed up a lot of stuff. Then, one thing led to another 18 years later.

Marylou: Here you are writing a book about your experiences. That’s the beauty of this. I think a lot of us could relate to the fact that we don’t necessarily intend to go into this profession. Some of us feel like they’ve been sucked into it. I certainly felt that way because I was one of those engineers coming from the engineering side. I was an operating system programmer for Honeywell and Xerox. I was definitely down in the bits and bytes of things. I could also speak to clients and prospects and understand what their technical issues were and communicate that back to the programming team.

I was always put into client-facing positions and I just hated it. Like you, I’m just not a real big people person. I thought, okay, since something is greater than me here, I’m going to have to explore this. I went into systems engineering. Now, that was fun. That was putting together the puzzles once the rep sold something to figure out. Can we really get this to work or not?

From there, we were moving from analog to digital since this back in the late ‘80s. They decided to fire all the salespeople because they weren’t technical enough to understand the analog to digital conversion strategies moving from 25 pairs of telephone cable down to a 2-pair digital cable. I was like, wave the magic wand over your head, Marylou. Now you’re in sales. That’s how I got in. I totally get it.

I had the authentic side because I really was a problem solver and still am. I’m very curious about why things don’t work or why things should be a little bit better than they are. I think that if I was in a situation where there was a high transaction volume, I would die on the vine. My whole thing has always been coming from relationship selling, multi-stakeholder, large accounts, which there were a lot of working parts. My engineering mind loves tinkering and loves all these disparate pieces that somehow piece together to make a whole. From there I study persuasion.

Let’s go into this persuasion piece. You said there’s a framework. How does that look? Where do you start with that? Are you looking at the person, the persona, the audience member? Where do you start with persuading people?

Jason: There’s what I call the sales success fundamentals that every sales conversation has to have. People use different terms, and there’s always these general things that I’ve seen.

Just to go back to your comment a minute ago, I think curiosity—especially from all the people that I’ve chatted with, other people that do what you and I do—is pretty much always the number one they throw out there as the trait for successful salespeople. I just think in general, somebody who is successful, not money, but just successful in having a purpose, bringing value to other people, and helping make things better in the world in general, curiosity, and then that problem-solving piece. 

Most people do what you and I did, which is we have that and we do it. For some reason, we have to do that now with people. Then, we figure out, wait, we can do that with people and it works pretty well. The thing going into the persuasion piece is the challenge is most people think of sales and they think of dirty word sales. They think of manipulation. They think of tricking. They think of memorizing sleek closing lines. Hey, Marylou, if I can show you a way to save $500 by Friday, is this something you’d be interested in doing? Yes, it could work, but it’s not what people want. 

The problem in people’s minds is they think that’s what sales is. When in fact your story epitomizes what sales should be. Which is you want to solve a problem, you’re curious, you want to help make things better, it happens to be with this human in front of you, and then, how can you do it and not make it feel like sales?

A lot of people are like, I don’t want to get in the sales. No, no, no. Don’t do “sales” like you think. This isn’t the Boiler Room or Wolf of Wall Street. Just actually help people, be a human, be a good person, and you’ll do really well. 

The persuasion framework for me—I’ve never come up with a better term for it. so I call it RETHU. Rapport, empathy, trust, hope, and urgency. Those five things in order and done completely. 

The problem with most salespeople—the sleek ones that we don’t like—is they start with urgency. It’s like, hey, you need to buy now. We’re having this. It’s this pressure, but there’s no rapport. There’s no empathy, which is the discovery process. There’s no trust built. It just seems inauthentic and seems bad. It seems wrong. 

Same thing with trust. A lot of salespeople go straight into trust, which is long monologues, which are big logos, which are testimonials and stories before the person even feels like you’re listening to them or you care.

You’ve got to do those phases. When you do that and you apply authentic persuasion to it, which is, this is my duty and responsibility, I have to help you. If I don’t help you, I’ve failed you. Then it shifts the conversation, which goes into the subtitle of the book, which is Transform from Order Taker to Quota Breaker. 

A lot of order takers do a great job with rapport, great job with empathy. They can build trust. The problem is, then, their main strategy’s help. Then, they’re just like, please buy from me. I hope you decide that you want to buy it. I’m here for you. I’m ready.

Marylou: Right, interesting. I’m trying to think because again, here I go with my process hat. I’m trying to understand because you said there’s the order. The first and foremost is building rapport, correct? 

Jason: Yup. 

Marylou: In building rapport, we’ve heard that term a lot. Is there a method that you can instantly align with that spits out rapport? Or, is rapport a natural part of you as a human? Can you practice rapport as a student of sales?

Jason: You can absolutely practice rapport building in sales, in life. For me, I use this tagline on my podcast all the time—everything in life is sales. Everything. Maybe you’re not even a salesperson, you work on a team. Maybe you’re a marketing person listening to this show. If you want your boss to agree with your marketing strategy or if you want the sales team to not think all of your leads suck, that’s all sales and persuasion around you at all times. 

I think rapport, the two biggest things I tell people to do is get better at being curious and segue that into being very ultra-interested. The reason why that is is because if you want people to be interested in you, you have to be interested in them. If you want them to find you interesting, then you first have to bring up things, ask questions, be curious, and then be interested and excited. When you do that, it makes people like you because you’re interested and you have things to talk about. 

You could do this at the store where you just ask somebody a question or seem interested in something they are doing, or you find something in common from an authentic place of actually being interested and being curious.

Marylou: It’s so funny you say this. I’m getting a flashback of my kids at the airport. I have the natural tendency to go up to strangers and as my daughter says, get in their business. From the mom’s point of view, me, it’s more about curiosity as to what brings you to the airport? Where are you traveling to?

It’s funny because they just shrink whenever I start down those conversation lines. I didn’t realize that I was practicing rapport the whole time. I am curious about what they’re doing. I’m very interested and not judgmental in any way, shape, or form. More like a sponge is taking in what their experiences are.

I have a friend who told me a story one time that he went up to someone and asked them what they did. That led to a 45-minute conversation. At the end of which, the man said to my friend, you are the most interesting person I’ve ever met. Literally, my friend just said, what do you do? That was it.

Jason: What people are really craving, in general—and if you apply this to your life and to your sales conversations, it’s a game-changer. What people want is somebody who actually cares, who’s interested, and then listens. I’m not going to blame social media for this, but I think it’s magnifying it. People don’t necessarily have to listen anymore. It’s a skill that’s not there. People are either too busy thinking about what they’re going to say next, they’re too busy waiting for you to stop talking so they can go do something else, or they’re multitasking. 

If you actually ask people questions, actively listen, then respond appropriately, and don’t make it about yourself—like my grandma used to say, two ears and one mouth. If you listen twice as much as you talk, people will think you’re the best person in the world. It will build rapport, empathy, and they will trust you with that. 

It’s funny you’re talking about your kids and you. Before I got into sales and really realized it, it used to drive me crazy too because I’d go out to dinner with my parents. My mom, a banker, doesn’t like salespeople, but she actually likes people and she’s just naturally curious. She likes to […]. 

We would go to a restaurant. By the time we were done, usually, the server would be sitting at the table with us, hanging out, ignoring all the other tables. My mom would know everything about that person—where they went to school, how they grew up, siblings, family, personal problems, finance. She would know everything. I would be so embarrassed, and me and my dad would look at each other. Then, I realized I have that same skill. Grocery store—it doesn’t matter, I’ll find out everything about somebody in five minutes.

Marylou: Yeah. It’s funny because it is a natural thing for me to do and I enjoy it. You meet all these very interesting people as a result. Applying that to the prospects, clients, and folks that we’re attempting to engage or persuade to get them to advance further into the pipeline, buy more products, or expand their usage. It is a trait that we as humans inherently know how to do. Maybe our muscles are a little weak in that area. Maybe we don’t have what I call endurance muscle of keeping and repetitively practicing that so you continually improve.

That’s rapport and empathy. How do we blend that into a nice mix of urgency?

Jason: We got the rapport, the empathy which I label as empathy because you want people to care about you, right? Going to the quote, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” You can’t build trust until someone feels like you actually care about them. You can, but it’s a rough game to try to do trust without the empathy part. 

Empathy is the discovery question. It’s probing. Again, like we just talked about. You ask questions, let somebody else talk. They will feel like you care even if you don’t say anything smart. They will feel like they can trust you. Then, we have trust.

Then, the hope is all about you having this problem, I have the solution, and it’s tailored to you because I asked you questions. Because I got to know you, I know you have this need. I have this specific solution. 

Now, if you don’t have that solution, I have a chapter in the book telling people, no, please. Tell them no and do the right thing for many reasons. It’s so important and it’s so valuable. A lot of salespeople are afraid to do that because of their scarcity mode. 

When you give them hope, it’s like, hey, you have this problem. Then the urgency is just that final piece, which the answer I’m going to say is pretty much always the answer now. The solution is now for whatever that step is. 

Now, if you’re talking about the long B2B sales cycle committee, they’ve got to go talk to somebody else. The time when they’ve got to go do something else in that sales conversation is now. We’ve got to do it right.

This is where salespeople come across under their own motivations, which is what repels people, the urgency is all about the other person’s need. It’s about that prospective customer’s need not your need. Not coming from a place like I got to close this deal at the end of the quarter or else. Coming from a place of 8 billion people on the planet. You buy, don’t buy. I’ve got enough other people to talk to. You need to buy for your reasons. I uncovered those, let me tell you why you need to do this right now.

Marylou: Then, make this the logical next step that says, here’s what I suggest. It’s like you’re going to the doctor almost where you go, my knee hurts. Tell me about where you were? What did you do? What kind of pain is it? Does it hurt here? You drill down to the core reason of what’s going on. Then, they prescribe the next step of that. If it makes sense, you’re going to jump at it. If it doesn’t, you’re going to ask more questions and work through it. That’s really how sales calls should go, especially at the top of the funnel. 

You’re really a detective trying to find out what’s going on or a doctor that’s trying to diagnose how acute your pain is. You can do so in a way that’s very endearing, but also is pleasantly persistent. I think that’s the type of thing, too, that I get a lot, is I don’t want to bother people or I feel like I’m bothering them. 

This persuasive section in your book talks about you not bothering people. You’re instead getting an understanding of where they are on the spectrum of making a decision that might be right for them now. It’s okay, like you said, if it’s not a good time now, maybe someday it will be. Let’s keep in contact because things change. You never know.

I think a lot of times, reps have this hope thing going on. The hope of, if I can just say the right thing, it’s going to convince them now. I think that’s not a good way to organize your business and organize your flow of conversations. There are going to be, as we all know, a large number of people who aren’t ready yet. They’re not there yet. I respect that, work with that, and suggest some alternatives for them. 

All in all, you do have to go through that process. I appreciate you articulating it that way. To me, it’s like this big blob. I don’t know the order in which and if you do it naturally, that’s the hardest part of trying to figure out how to teach others. Now, where do I start? I very much appreciate you putting it into a framework like that. It’s great.

Jason: Yeah. To your pestering comment, to me, two things happen when people feel like they’re pestering and then they fall under this order taker category that I would say. One is they’re selling crap that people don’t need or want.

I am speaking specifically, including B2B, SAAS, and all of those companies. This isn’t just consumer crap that people don’t need. I mean business crap because you’re the 19th CRM that somebody isn’t going to use, and you think it’s the best CRM on the planet. But it’s either not, it’s not a good fit, or you don’t believe it. Now, there are ways to innovate and improve. I think a lot of people are starting things and selling things that nobody cares about or wants. That’s part of it. 

The other part is people usually feel like they’re a pest—pestering somebody and chasing somebody because they don’t actually know why that person wants to buy. That’s the biggest game-changer. If you actually know why that person wants or needs what you have, then in your follow-ups, it’s very specific. Hey, we talked, you told me this. We were going to help solve this, when can we talk more about it? Now, I’m trying to help you with that. I think that’s so huge. 

It’s funny talking about your doctor example because that’s what I talk about all the time and related to that, especially when it’s your responsibility. I think that’s a strong corollary for people to treat their role like a professional role, especially in sales, is to mimic what happens.

If you break your leg and you go into the emergency room, the doctor wouldn’t do this, wouldn’t do the exam, take X-rays, run the tests, come back, and say, hey, here’s the X-ray. It looks like your leg is broken. Let me know what you want to do about it. I’ll send you a follow-up email. Here’s my card. I also have a brochure about broken legs. Here, take this. You know what I’ll do, let’s reconnect next week, let’s chat again and see if this is something you want to get taken care of. It’s like, no, no, no. They went through that process.

You’re here. The doctor instead says, your legs are broken. Here’s the diagnosis. We need to fix it. Any questions? Okay, hold on. This is going to hurt, but then you’ll get better. When you do that, it makes that huge shift.

Marylou: Yeah. It gets down to the root cause of what’s really bothering them. Another example for me would be my lead generation program doesn’t work. That could mean 100 different things. We learned root cause analysis when I was in engineering. That’s a similar process for asking questions to get down to the bare bones of what is causing them pain, unwanted outcomes, risks, obstacles, or whatever it is that you need to get down to that level. At the same time, as you said when you were asking those questions, they’re thinking, boy, they really understand what I’m going through.

I’ve had a lot of people say, you really know my thing, don’t you?

Jason: Yeah. Usually what happens is they’ve had some bad experience where they ask lots of questions. Then, somebody rejected them and said, you don’t need to know all this stuff. Just tell me how you’re going to help me. Then, it imprinted in their mind. Or, they flashback to when they were a teenager and they started liking that new boy or girl. At the dinner table, the parents are just grilling them. It feels like grilling. They’re not, it’s just asking questions. 

You think I don’t want to do that to other people because I hate when people are nosy in my business. That makes you a superficial salesperson because you don’t actually know what the other person wants or needs.

Marylou: Exactly. We’ve been through authenticity and persuasion. You mentioned there’s the last section on, what you say, intangible. Tell us about that. That sounds interesting too. Very interesting terms and phrases. For the curious self, you’re like, what does that mean?

Jason: I wish I could say I was a very smart marketer and I just came up with this thing to help sell more. It’s no. I’m so authentic. It just comes to me and I just do it. Intangibles, for anyone that’s a fan of sports or familiar with sports, intangibles are usually those little things that somebody does where it’s not tracked, it’s not measured. 

In sports, I’m more of a basketball fan. The hustle plays, the getting in people’s way, the mind games—all those are weird intangibles that don’t show up on a stat sheet. It’s the difference between winning and losing against a professional. I’m a professional basketball player. You’re a professional basketball player. I got to get an edge. The way to get an edge is intangible. 

What most salespeople don’t realize is that you are playing against a professional—your customer—who’s way better at being themselves and not buying than you have been so far on your experience because everyone has that primal part of their brain, the amygdala, which still thinks it’s 10,000 years ago on the Savanna. That if you eat the wrong berry, it will kill you or there’s a saber-tooth tiger trying to kill you. 

You’re playing against a professional, which is this unconscious mind that’s so tough to crack because it doesn’t like change. Change equals death. Intangibles are these little things. Now, one intangible that order takers do a lot, for example, is they pause. I’m not talking like the strategic pause, like, okay, Marylou, it’s going to be $30,000, pause. I’m not talking about that strategic negotiation pause. 

I mean, you asked me a question, I answered, and then I pause and I leave this vacancy. Nature hates a vacuum. What happens is your prospect, who’s scared—if they weren’t scared, they would have bought it already. The fact that they haven’t bought means there’s something you have to overcome.

In that vacuum, your prospect will come up with another question and another question and order takers pause instead of going back to where they were or transitioning. They lose control and then they lose the whole thing. It’s one of those things where I can listen to anybody’s conversation and tell if they tend to be more of an order taker just based on things like that. If you do that, it just signals the other person is in control. 

Most mediocre salespeople who aren’t getting the results they want, they’re not good enough to wrestle back the control. I call it a death by a thousand punches. They just end up getting knocked out. That’s it.

Marylou: Right. That’s a skill that definitely you can practice. We’ve had a lot of interviews lately with some people and we’ve thrown those curveballs at them. It’s been interesting to see how many people can get us back on track versus going down the rabbit hole of the curveball with us. That’s very interesting. I like that. 

The other thing that hit me when you said about basketball, there’s a famous saying from Wayne Gretzky, who’s a hockey player, that he, “Skates to where the puck is going,” (I think is how he says it) instead of where the puck is. That, to me, is a big intangible because that’s what sets him apart. It’s not measured, but it’s something that definitely sets him apart. He’s one of the greatest hockey players of all time.

Jason: Yeah. There was some miscellaneous stuff that wouldn’t fall under the persuasion that I put in the intangibles. It’s saying no when you need to tell somebody no. For the right reasons, it’s the referral game and all those things. That’s really the difference. The difference between highly effective sales professionals is those intangibles because the rest of it’s just a process.

Marylou: Yeah. You mentioned early on about referrals, did you put that in the intangibles area?

Jason: It is, yup.

Marylou: Okay. That’s a big thing now because of COVID. We’re right in the middle of a pandemic as we’re having this conversation. There are certain channels of contact that just went away from us. Building your network out and relying on people to assist you in the process is always welcomed, especially now. With GPR, we’re getting a lot now into these do not contact protocols, especially in Europe, that are basically cutting our arm off when it comes to channels of reaching out to people like the phone versus email.

I think referrals are a big thing. I’m curious as to what authenticity and persuasion have to do with the referral process?

Jason: Well, part of the challenge is that most people in sales that I’ve experienced who are struggling. There are the people who aren’t struggling and they’re doing great. They’re operating like professionals. Then, there are the ones who are struggling and they’re too short-term focused to have the relationships that then lead to referrals. I don’t mean the sales cycle. I just mean in general. It’s like I need this deal now and I’m going to do whatever it takes to get this now. 

Again, a primal part of our brain, 10,000 years ago—wake up hungry, you need to eat today or you might starve to death. What do I have to go get? For the referral side, under authentic persuasion, it’s really about acting like a hunter but think like a farmer. You can’t also just rely on a pure farming referral strategy. Most people can’t because you plant those seeds. It takes a long time to grow. You’re going to starve to death before it’s time to pick an apple off of that tree. You’ve got to do both, but you’ve got to make your sales. 

If you do it in a proper way that’s relational, like you talked about a while ago, then you’re building these relationships which then have the value and you underpromise, over-deliver. As a salesperson, you set the right expectation and your company actually fulfilled what you said they would do, which a lot of salespeople that’s not what happens. They either ignore some facts or they promise the moon and you’re not going to get referrals that way. It’s really about doing both short- and long-term.

Marylou: Wonderful. The book is Selling With Authentic Persuasion: Transform from Order Taker to Quota Breaker. Jason, thank you so much for your time. I’m going to be putting all your links because you have a bunch of different services you offer.

If you’d like to talk about that a little bit about how people can get in touch with you and what kind of services that you provide to help us be better at our profession that we all love?

Jason: I appreciate that. I’ve made it easy. If you go to jasoncutter.com, it’s a hub for everything that I have. I’m very active on LinkedIn. If you want to see content there. I have the book, which is on authenticpersuasion.com, also on Amazon. 

I have my consulting side where I could help organizations improve their sales process, build sales processes, and just create winning teams of quota breakers instead of order takers. You can find that through there.

I also work with individual sales reps and managers to help them become more effective.

Marylou: Wonderful. Again, thank you so much for your time. We very much appreciate you sharing your work with us.

Guys this is a great book to add to your arsenal (if you will) or your toolkit of sales books. Like anything, we can always get better, more confident, and more secure in our selling strategies, our selling methodologies, our skills, and our mindset. It does take that holistic approach of mindset, skillset, and as Jason said, process, in order to be able to maximize your return on effort, take that hour and multiply your results.

Thanks so much, Jason, for being a guest today on our podcast. 

Marylou: Thanks for having me, Marylou.